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1996-07-15 LRT-001
London Regional Transport

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Operation Amazon targets ticket touts


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London Regional Transport

Operation Amazon targets ticket touts
_______________________________________________________________


date
15 July 1996
source London Regional Transport
type Press release



The crackdown on ticket touts who defraud London Underground out of an estimated £1 million per year is set to intensify today (Monday 15 July) with the launch of Operation Amazon, a major initiative covering the entire Underground network.

Operation Amazon, a joint campaign between London Undergroundís Revenue Services and the British Transport Police, follows the recent action taken by London Underground to ban ten convicted ticket touts from the system.

During the last eighteen months reported touting problems have escalated and many stations now suffer from this type of offence. London Underground has recorded a corresponding increase in the number of customers complaining of harassment and intimidation by touts on or outside stations.

To combat this growing menace, London Underground and the British Transport Police intend to actively pursue all offenders during Operation Amazon. People who already have convictions for touting will be arrested with a view to obtaining injunctions banning persistent offenders from the system.

Most people giving away tickets do not know that touts operate in organised gangs and are actually making a living from the trade - some touts are estimated to earn over £13,000 a year. This revenue lost through tout transactions contributes towards higher fare levels for all Underground customers.

Nick Agnew, London Undergroundís General Manager (Revenue Support) said: "People attempting to, or actually buying or selling used tickets from touts need to be aware that they are committing an offence under the London Transport Byelaws. In addition, anyone caught travelling with a second-hand ticket is committing a criminal offence under the Railways Act which has a maximum £1,000 fine or three months in prison.

"We fully intend to pursue a proactive prosecution policy with a view to obtaining injunctions banning persistent offenders from the system. The number of arrests at problem stations will be displayed for customers to see."

Recent offensives to combat ticket touts have already included a highly successful One Day Travelcard offer in which passengers who saved five Travelcards could claim discounts for meals and up to a third off the costs of selected West End shows. The offer helped to prevent the fraudulent resale of valid tickets by passengers who would have otherwise discarded them after use, potentially allowing them to be picked up by ticket touts and resold.

London Underground has also called on local authorities to help in tackling the ticket tout problems. Under the Local Authorities Act 1990 (amended 1994) any ticket touts found operating outside stations can face prosecution under this Act.

In addition, plain clothes London Underground Revenue Control Inspectors and British Transport Police have previously targeted key stations where ticket touts are operating.


Railhub Archive ::: 1996-07-15 LRT-001





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